One year ago today, in the midst of a global pandemic, I decided to take a bold step and pursue my dream, combining my public relations experience with the burgeoning green economy. It was, in many respects, the culmination of my 30-year career. I would ply my craft to what I believe is an urgent cause and which would provide a greater sense of fulfillment.
That period was a transformational time for many others as well. Perhaps the pandemic was like a snow globe in that it shook up how we view the world and how we view ourselves. Everything seemed suddenly less permanent and stable. Things we took for granted, like family, health, and jobs, could all disappear in an instant. As a society, we began reassessing our priorities.
I have always been a contrarian thinker, so amidst this chaos, I sensed an opportunity. I had traveled so often to the Adirondacks to ski, fish, and hike, and always believed in my heart it was where I was meant to be. From the beautiful snow-capped mountains to the gorgeous shores of Lake Champlain, it offers outdoor enjoyment all day every day. So, I said goodbye to big-city life, with all its traffic congestion and keeping up with the Joneses, and I headed north.
Though I am an effective networker and at ease with building relationships, where you come from matters. Assimilating into a more rural and laid-back environment required significant adjustments on my part. Establishing a new business, a new residence, and new relationships in a town where I knew nobody, pushed me to my limits. It was daunting, especially at first, but my familiarity with the area made the transition a little easier.
The city of Glens Falls, though, was incredibly welcoming, which made the transition and relocation easier. When I arrived, the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce rolled out the red carpet. The Warren County EDC (Economic Development Corporation) made helpful introductions and provided generous publicity. City Hall stepped up to offer assistance in getting my business up and running. For all this, I am incredibly grateful.
When we announced our arrival, Sustainable PR took off almost immediately, attracting clients within the first six months. A year in, we now have a stable of six clients, including some with international reach. In addition, we’ve created our first full-time account manager position and opened our office in downtown Glens Falls.
Sometimes, I’m asked if I miss Philadelphia. My answer? Not really. I do miss friends and family, but I suppose that it has to do with where your heart is, and my heart has always been in the mountains of upstate New York.
So, to those who have contemplated a big move of their own and are reluctant to pull the trigger, I say: If you have the ability to do so, don’t wait. Life is short, and you have to seize the moment. Even if it doesn’t pan out according to your plans, you’ll have had an enriching experience. The journey will have enhanced your life and provided you with an opportunity to grow.
Good luck, and I’ll see you on the trail!